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13 September 2010 @ 04:31 am
when did your heart go missing? [kangchul]  
Title: When Did Your Heart Go Missing?
Pairing: Heechul/Kangin
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1742
Music: When Did Your Heart Go Missing - Rooney
Notes: written for injoong :) 
TFLN Project #: 1 (archive)
TFLN Prompt: (link)
Summary:  "Will you pick up some mouthwash on the way home? I'm afraid he's poured holy water into mine by this point."

"I feel like I've known you for years-" Kangin wrenched back from the intimate stance he had been in, leaning forward across the table with his date's impossibly soft hand in his as he stroked the tender stretch of skin just to the inside of her thumb and murmured to her, completely ensconced in the romantic atmosphere of the restaurant; he nearly tipped his chair over backwards in his haste, righting himself at the last second with a string of curses that was almost one enormous, venomous word as he clawed at his pocket for his vibrating phone, which he swore he'd put on silent- hell, which he swore he'd turned completely off. His date appraised him with a mixture of confusion and displeasure (goddamnit, he'd been doing so well, and now all his progress was ruined) as he hit a button, any button, to stop it from vibrating. He glanced at the screen, but he didn't even need to look to know that it was from Heechul.

Heechul's timing was uncannily perfect; at the most inopportune moments, when he was the farthest thing from Kangin's mind, it was as if an alarm went off in Heechul's brain. "Alert! Alert! Kangin is about to be happy! Fuck it up for him somehow!" Kangin wondered if he had alarms for all of his exes, or if he was the lucky one who had to field texts and calls from Heechul in the middle of dates, business meetings, even sex. And it didn't matter what setting Kangin put his phone on, Heechul's messages always made it through, made themselves quite known to him, so even if he didn't read them immediately, they would sit in the back of his mind and gnaw at him until he did. Kangin had a sneaking suspicion that even if he removed the battery from his phone, and placed the parts in separate pockets, that he would feel a message burning its way through his clothes, and he would find himself running to the bathroom with some excuse, some feigned and sudden stomach illness or too much wine, where he would shut himself in the nearest stall and hastily put his phone back together, fearing some awful curse. Or maybe he wasn't as immune to the bastard's charms as he told himself he was. Maybe it was Kangin's own alarm system, the one he thought he'd destroyed the day they decided to back off and go back to being 'just friends,' whatever the fuck that meant.

"I'm sorry about that," Kangin muttered, plastering on a silky smile as he realized his date was still staring at him icily from across the table. She relaxed a little, but her eyes were still burning a hole in his head, and he hurried to take her hand again, trying in vain to recreate the atmosphere that had been ruined by his blunder. "Where were we?"

"You were telling me how you feel like we've known each other for years." Something about the way she replied, something about the ironic twist of her lips, the veiled annoyance in her voice, reminded him of Heechul- in fact, he could see Heechul vividly in his mind, smirking at him from over the arm of the couch where he was curled in a manner Kangin might (under torture) admit he found adorable, breaking his intense concentration on whatever stupid drama he was watching to abuse Kangin (a hobby into which he poured more energy and enthusiasm than learning his own band's dance routines) a little as he clattered around in the kitchen -and Kangin felt his appetite (both for the food they had ordered but not yet received, and for her) wither almost immediately.

"Right... I-" Kangin jumped in his seat just slightly as he felt his phone vibrate again, the blood draining from his face (he had turned it off moments before, he had watched himself turn it off) as he held her hand in one of his and reached for his phone again with the other, intent on taking the battery out and throwing it across the room. As soon as she realized what he was doing, though, his date jerked her hand back and stood up, ignoring his protests.

"I'm going home. Call me when you want to take me out instead of whoever that is, because it's clear that they have all your attention tonight." Kangin let out a sigh of frustration (or maybe relief?) and slumped back in his seat, watching her stomp out of the restaurant. He waited for the disappointment to hit him, but it never did, and he tried to tell himself that she just really was not that interesting to begin with. But as Kangin picked up his wine glass and swirled the liquid inside around for a moment before lifting it to his lips, taking a small sip, he knew that wasn't true. She was interesting. She was gorgeous, and witty, and he let her walk away. She saw right through him.

As he unlocked his phone and read the most recent message, "Will you pick up some mouthwash on the way home? I'm afraid he's poured holy water into mine by this point," Kangin smiled, the bitterness fading, as he wondered what Siwon was up to now that was ruffling Heechul's figurative (and sometimes literal) feathers. There was something about Heechul, even via text, that made him feel comfortable, like a warm blanket was wrapping around his shoulders. A blanket that enjoyed slapping him a little too much, but nevertheless. Despite their differences, they fit together easily. That's why their friendship was so close, that's why they thought they could be more... Kangin wondered if they had been too hasty to shift into reverse at the first sign of problems between them when they had been more. These thoughts bothered him almost as often as Heechul did, so Kangin felt himself settling back into the idea in this dark corner of the restaurant. Maybe they hadn't tried hard enough-

He opened the previous message. "It never fails. Every time I have a dick in my mouth, Siwon calls me." Kangin couldn't stop the sickening feeling of his heart dropping to his feet as he read it, re-read it. Couldn't stop the immediate rollercoaster of thoughts that thundered through him- is he texting me while he's with someone else? Is it already over? Is he standing in someone else's kitchen wearing their huge t-shirt and nothing else, the neckline dipping off of one slim shoulder as he leans against the counter and smiles his special are-you-going-to-come-over-here-and-kiss-me-hello-or-not smile over the rim of a cup of coffee in someone else's favorite mug? Is he just musing on past events? Who is he with? Is it someone I know? Is he alone? Is he trying to piss me off? Is he trying to tempt me? Who the fuck does he think he is?

Kangin wanted to run after his date and catch her before she got on a bus/in a taxi/on a train, he wanted to apologize and try to repair the night, he wanted to bury his stupid feelings in mindless sex. He wanted to find the train or the bus or the taxi and throw himself in front of it. He wanted to walk into the dorm and find, as he knew he might, one slice of light in the entire dormitory coming from a door waiting to be opened, behind which he might find what he wanted most, asleep and half underneath his comically large blanket, one elegant, pale leg visible and a tuft of soft hair against the pillowcase, all the lights on like he'd been waiting up for Kangin but couldn't quite wait long enough. He wanted to run his hand along Heebum's spine and toss his jacket onto the floor even though he knew he'd get shit for it later, and he wanted to crawl under the blanket and wrap his arms around the treasure underneath, not minding the bony shoulder blades digging into his chest or any of the other sharp angles that he might become better acquainted with if Heechul had that kickboxing dream again.

Instead, Kangin threw money for the bill and a meager tip down on the table and stalked out of the restaurant. A glow in his peripheral vision made him turn his head, and he noticed the stale glare of a brightly lit drugstore on the corner. He hadn't noticed it on the way to the restaurant. He started toward it before he caught himself; he could see the rows of mouthwash, green and blue and even purple, and he could easily see himself picking one and telling himself that he didn't care what flavor Heechul liked (even though he knew it was the green, and the bottle in his hand would be glowing emerald, what a lovely lucky guess), could see himself pouring it all over Heechul's shit, all over his stupid clothes draped around the room, on the cat, on his pillow. Leaving him a note, "Here's your fucking mouthwash."

And as soon as this image came to him, Kangin knew he could never do it. He would leave the bottle in the bathroom, or if Heechul were out at some faceless man's house in his fucking t-shirt with his stupid fucking coffee, on his nightstand. He would sit on Heechul's bed, and he would kick himself for being so pathetic. He would invariably fall asleep, and wake up on the opposite side of the bed facing the wall, with a slim arm wrapped around his waist, and all would be forgiven because for that moment, in the early morning light, Kangin would feel so at home that he wouldn't care about anything but the lips (full and warm) on the back of his neck, the voice (low and a little scratchy from sleep) in his ear.

Even when Kangin tried to run in the opposite direction, he always found himself back in that place, back in that feeling. Even as he walked deliberately in the opposite direction from the drugstore, he knew he'd find another one along the way. He would buy the mouthwash, and he would go crawling back, like he always did. And maybe, just maybe, he would get that precious second of complete, absolute contentment that he knew he would never find anywhere else, in anyone else's bed, in anyone else's arms. Maybe one day, it would be worth it.
macoothamacootha on September 13th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
that was so nice to read.warm, funny and sad.
Like it very much ^^
deep cover gecko: [misc.] → got it on lockburger on September 19th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)

This has been such a brilliant night and this fic was more than the icing on the cake oh my God I love you.

(he had turned it off moments before, he had watched himself turn it off) I FELT THE PANIC

A blanket that enjoyed slapping him a little too much, but nevertheless. SCREAMS

Um this is just. Lovely and beautiful and sad and also somehow hilarious and it made me feel both melancholy and incredibly warm and fuzzy. YOU ARE AMAZING WHY DID YOU NEVER LINK ME TO THIS BEFORE
莲花char_isa_pirate on September 19th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
You are so sweet ;~~~~~~; <3
nihil.: ☆Kangchul☆through the agessook on September 19th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
i doubt heebum likes being drenched in mouthwash omg youngwoon ;/
莲花char_isa_pirate on September 19th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
you never know, maybe he likes to taste of mint 8|
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